The Stranger Within is the second novel I’ve read by Kathryn Croft, I also had the pleasure of interviewing her for my first author interview last year which you can see here: https://lifehasafunnywayofsneakinguponyou.wordpress.com/2016/11/27/author-interview-kathryn-croft/
Kathryn is a very skilled thriller writer and The Stranger Within only reinforced this view for me. Callie is recently married to widower James and has taken on parenting of his two sons Dillon and Luke. But all they do is give her trouble, refusing to allow her to take their mother’s place they do everything from telling lies, refusing to speak to her and even at times physically abusing her. Callie is at the end of her tether. The novel begins at the police station where Callie is being accused of murder. The rest of the novel is the story of what led to this point and most importantly who was her victim?
The novel is not a cheerful one let me tell you! Callie’s life is a living hell and her husband James is frankly pathetic, telling her he’ll ‘speak to’ the boys and then they just carry on doing what they want. It’s no surprise things turn out for her the way they do when she has literally no support! Even her friends are too wrapped up in their own lives to help her and if the boys weren’t enough, there’s the crazy old lady next door who has a grudge against her as well! Not to mention Miss Tabitha ‘sexy receptionist at James’ work who’s also causing her problems.
Throughout, I just felt really sorry for Callie and even more so with how it all ends, although the less said about that the better! No spoilers here! She just has a really hard time of it and to be honest if I had to put up with what she did I’d have walked out before the shit hit the fan!
I really enjoyed this novel though, it was gripping and definitely a true thriller! The character of Callie was very likeable I really took the offences against her personally! I’ll definitely be reading more from Kathryn Croft!